MLB Rumors

Marlins' Jose Fernandez throws off mound for first time since surgery
by Sean d'Oliveira |

Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez threw off a mound Sunday for the first time since undergoing Tommy John surgery last year, the team announced.

Fernandez threw 15 fastballs during the outing.

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Report: Cuban infielder Olivera takes physical for Dodgers, others
by Sean d'Oliveira |

Cuban infielder Hector Olivera recently underwent a physical for a number of teams, including the Dodgers, sources told Fox Sports.

Over 10 seasons in Cuba, Olivera hit .323 with a .407 on-base percentage, .505 slugging percentage and .912 OPS.

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Rangers push back Derek Holland's start due to sorenes
by Sean d'Oliveira |

Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said the team pushed back Derek Holland's start due to normal soreness in his throwing shoulder, reports the Dallas Morning News.

Holland was scheduled to throw in Sunday's intrasquad game, but it will be pushed back to Monday as a precaution. Holland missed most of the 2014 season with a knee injury.

"I'm taking a day off," Holland said, per the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "No biggie."

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Yankees' Alex Rodriguez may play in spring training opener
by Sean d'Oliveira |

Yankees coach Joe Girardi said the team will decide Monday if Alex Rodriguez will play in Tuesday's spring training opener, reports the Associated Press.

Rodriguez is attempting to comeback after being suspended for the entire 2014 season and Girardi said the decision will be based on how Rodriguez is feeling.

"It's something I have to talk to him about," Girardi said. "See where he's at physically."

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Blue Jays sign Dayan Viciedo to minor-league deal
by Sean d'Oliveira |

The Blue Jays signed outfielder Dayan Viciedo to a minor-league contract Sunday, the team announced.

The deal includes an invite to spring training. In 2014, Viciedo hit .231 with 21 home runs and 58 RBI.

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MLBPA's Tony Clark not ready to endorse worldwide draft
by Chris Cwik |

MLB Players Association executive director Tony Clark isn't ready to embrace the idea of a worldwide draft, according to

New commissioner Rob Manfred recently commented that a worldwide draft may make sense for Major League Baseball. "It makes all the sense in the world to have a single method of entry," he said.

But Clark doesn't necessarily agree with that line of thinking. While he admitted the idea sounds great in theory, Clark said there are still a lot of challenges. 

Fundamentally, there are a tremendous amount of challenges based on what is already part of the system and/or what is not part of any individual system in any individual country -- with respect to how those players are being developed, with respect to how those players are being educated, against the backdrop of when they're being asked to make decisions about their professional careers.

The issue of a worldwide draft became more relevant following the signing of Yoan Moncada for $31.5 million. Rays pitcher Drew Smyly was critical of the contract, saying it was "not right" for a 19-year-old international player to make that much when a 19-year-old player from the United States would make much less. 

Clark was supportive of Smyly speaking his mind, and reiterated that the draft debate will continue to be an issue moving forward. "As we move forward, we as a group will continue to talk about any number of considerations," Clark said. "An international or worldwide draft is going to be one of those topics of discussion."

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Red Sox's Henry Owens impresses during camp
by Chris Cwik |

Red Sox pitcher Henry Owens impressed during batting practice recently, according to the Boston Herald

Owens hadn't faced big league hitters since last spring training, and had something to prove. While Owens didn't have great fastball command during the session, his changeup was spot on. 

"Great deception, hard to pick up," catcher Ryan Hanigan said. "He got me on the changeup today because you can’t see the spin. It looks just like his fastball. That’s a huge advantage."

Pitching coach Juan Nieves agreed, but said he wasn't sure whether Owens was ready for the majors just yet. "Is anybody ready to come to the big leagues?" Nieves said. "I don’t know. We don’t know until they get there and experience the competition."

The 22-year-old Owens enters the year as the team's second-best prospect according to Baseball America. He posted a 2.94 ERA over two minor-league levels last year. 

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Brewers GM confident Jean Segura will bounce back
by R.J. White |

Brewers general manager Doug Melvin expressed confidence Saturday that shortstop Jean Segura will bounce back after a subpar 2014 season, the Journal Sentinel reports.

"I'm pretty confident he's going to bounce back," Melvin said. "He had a very good September. He had a lot of stuff going on last year. But everybody says he's a much happier person and everything. He's a good, athletic player that we need."

After delivering a .294 average, smacking 12 home runs and stealing 44 bases in 2013, Segura hit just .246/.289/.326 with five home runs, 31 RBI and 20 stolen bases in 513 at-bats in 2014.

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Brewers' Dontrelle Willis making a good impression in camp
by Chris Cwik |

Brewers pitcher Dontrelle Willis has made a favorable impression during camp, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

In particular, Willis has impressed manager Ron Roenicke. "He's got a great attitude," Roenicke said. "The things he said are exactly what you want a player to say. He gets it." Willis has also made a strong impression on his new teammates.

Willis, 33, has not pitched in the majors since 2011. He's attempting to make a come back with the Brewers this spring. 

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Blue Jays' Michael Saunders: 'No pain' day after surgery
by R.J. White |

Blue Jays outfielder Michael Saunders said Saturday that he's feeling no pain one day after undergoing knee surgery, the Toronto Sun reports.

"I feel great," Saunders said. "I couldn’t believe it when I woke up this morning and I was walking around just fine. I walked out of surgery just fine. I actually started doing some exercises today and just got checked out by the doctor and he was pleasantly surprised with what he saw. There’s not as much swelling as he originally thought. Everything is checking out so far and everything is good news. No pain. It feels like I banged my knee on a pole and it’s a tiny bit swollen."

Saunders suffered a torn meniscus while tracking a foul ball Wednesday, tripping over a sprinkler head and hearing a popping sound. After initially being told he could need to have the meniscus repaired, a procedure that carries a recovery time of three-to-five months, Saunders had the torn portion of the meniscus removed, which places him on track to return to action within six weeks. While the outfielder is excited to be back on the field in a much shorter time, he indicated he'll be cautious with his rehab.

"I’m going to miss some spring training but it could be a lot worse," Saunders said. "My ligaments are intact. For me this is the best-case scenario. I’m going to do everything I can to make sure I’m ready to go. I’d love to say that I’ll be ready opening day. That’s my goal. But we’re targeting more mid-April, on the safe side. At the end of the day I have to listen to my knee. It’s a long season. I’m going to get this right the first time and not rush back."

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